In recent weeks there has been plenty of talk about the Treasury’s TARP initiative, but little progress on its actual implementation. On Friday we got news that PNC Financial (PNC) was the first bank to get a capital infusion from the TARP, and would use much of the cash to help fund its acquisition of troubled banking competitor National City (NCC).
I have previously written highly of PNC stock and this deal only furthers my bullish long-term view on the company. They are paying about $2 per share for a bank that traded at nearly $40 last year and fits their geographical footprint very well. PNC’s track record on successful acquisition integration is outstanding. As with the other strong banks buying weaker ones, loan losses will rise with the deals and that trend will continue for a while, but long term the buyers will only enhance their competitive positions in a marketplace that will have far fewer players overall when the dust settles.
Today we are learning about more banks raising capital through the TARP, Capital One (COF) and SunTrust (STI) among them. Don’t be surprised if Capital One makes an acquisition in coming months as well. They have indicated they are looking at potential deals and have raised money twice in recent weeks.
Hopefully the equity market can begin to gain some traction as some of these plans are not just announced, but more importantly, actually implemented.
Full Disclosure: Peridot was long shares of COF and PNC at the time of writing, but positions may change at any time